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Project: Increasing Equitable Access to Effective Educators

The Region 14 Comprehensive Center is supporting the Arkansas Department of Education in developing, implementing, and communicating a data-driven talent management strategy. The goal of this strategy is to create a more equitable distribution of effective teachers for all students.  


The Need

Arkansas’s data from 2017 –to 2018 show that schools with high-poverty and high-minority student populations have larger percentages of inexperienced and ineffective teachers. The teacher attrition in these schools is also much higher than the state average. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Office of Educator Effectiveness (OEE) is analyzing the state’s workforce to address these gaps. They have taken an important first step by providing opportunities for educators to grow professionally. Better-equipped educators will positively impact student learning. 



Our Approach 

Reimagining Talent Management Systems

ADE, in partnership with the Region 14 Comprehensive Center, is employing a human-centered design approach to reimagine a holistic talent management system rooted in data-driven decision-making that effectively engages all stakeholders at every level through authentic communication to help support current and future educators. We facilitated discussions mapping current desired states and identified which programs and initiatives will be the focus of realignment efforts. 


Aligning Strategic Goals

Teach Arkansas goals were revised and strengthened to usefully align with the department’s overall strategic goals. To have a clear way of measuring progress toward these updated goals, we supported the revision of the ADE’s Workforce Stability Index (WSI), which uses multiple actors to calculate access to effective educators. 


Advancing Forward

Through this approach, ADE has developed systems alignment, data-driven solutions, and strategic communications to drive improvement and systemically break down silos, leading to better identification of problems, points of reflection and/or change, and solutions. Data are used for improvement, rather than solely for accountability or requirements. The strategic data-driven decision-making and deep communications strategy in the ADE talent management systems are helping grow equitable access to effective educators.

Moving forward, we will analyze additional ADE data to develop specific progress metrics for the new Teach Arkansas goals and identify gaps in data collection that ADE could address in the future. We will continue to aid in the realignment of OEE’s programs and initiatives and collaborate with OEE staff on how to communicate these programs and initiatives in an effective, cohesive way.